I am here to share my personal story of how I converted to Islam. I think everyone's story is unique and special in one way or another and are inspiring to others who have already converted or are thinking about accepting Islam as their way of life Insha'Allah
I was raised in a very small town of only 400 people, I didn't live right in town, I lived in the country and the closest neighbor friend I had growing up was a mile away. I didn't grow up in church much. I do remember going up until the time I was about 6 years old. After that we would attend only mostly on Holidays. My mom was religious and always reading the Bible. My father was mentally ill and had an alcohol problem. I went through a lot of trials in my life, My father was abusive verbally, mentally, physically and my mom worked a lot. I had 2 older brothers. The oldest of the two didn't get along with my father at all. There was always fighting and arguing growing up. My other brother (the middle child) spent most of his time in his room and avoided the conflict. When my brothers were old enough to move out I was left alone home with my father, my mother took a job 5 hrs from home and was living with my grandmother.
My outlet was my school friend who's family had a dairy farm. I worked my butt off, but it was worth not having to be home dealing with my father. I was a troubled teen. I would skip school, get into fights and found myself dealing with a social worker by the time I was 14. I never really understood why they left me at home, they knew what was going on in the home, but they made me feel like it was my fault. I rebelled... Maybe it was a cry out for help. I tried to commit suicide at the age of 16, My mother then quit her job and returned home. I had a lot of anger towards her for leaving me there with him so I continued to get into trouble, I ran away at the age of 17 and my parents told me to either get married or come home. I knew this man for 2 weeks and ended up getting married, my father signed the papers because I was still a minor. I dropped out of school and became involved with a gang.
My husband was over 21 and was from the South Side of Chicago, We returned to his home where his family was from and that is the first time I witnesses-ed what true poverty was, I grew up with always a house and food to eat, nothing special but when I went to Chicago I learned a total new way of life. My husband ended up going to jail for drugs, I stayed in Chicago with his family who all were drug addicts and money hungry. They ended up stealing everything I had of value and sold it so they could support their drug habits. I tried to reach out to my family but no one would help me. I was almost raped by 5 men and killed in a project building. I was lucky enough to get out unharmed, only mentally. I had at least 4 guns pointed at my back in complete darkness and I heard one of the men say to them "No please don't do it" and a pound at the door came and they all ran thinking I was a undercover police officer. The building was 16 stories, And going down all the stairs in pitch darkness was the longest 16 stories of my life, praying to make it out alive, I ended up doing illegal things so I would be able to feed myself. I ended up in Jail.
While in jail I divorced my husband, got a job and started seeing someone else. He ended up having his father move in with us and later on he ended up cheating on me with someone at work and left me. His father still remained, I ended up quitting my job and needed the help with paying the bills. Little did I know he was selling cocaine. I fell into a depression and when I found out what he was doing, I started using. It lasted about 3 months. I had instant friends... I was feeling like I was on top of the world... Well that didn't last long when one of my friends that was using with me had a seizure. I quit doing drugs at that moment. It wasn't before the police already knew that drugs were being sold out of the house, They offered me a deal to tell the name of his father and they would let me go, but not knowing if he would have something done to me at the time I refused to talk, I was sentenced to 4 months in jail.
I ended up getting in a serious car accident head on at 55 mph on a hwy with a muslim friend that I had met at a factory job while I was in jail I was just starting to learn about Islam and it was all very different to me since I was never around any other muslims my entire life. But I really enjoyed how happy and peaceful all the muslims at my job were. The town itself was only 3,000 people but there were at least 200 muslims from Somalia that were working there. That is when my entire life started to change. After my accident I knew there had to be a reason I have survived everything I have in my short lifetime. And I started to do some self reflection and soul searching... I knew I wasn't a "Bad Person" I just seemed to always find myself surrounded with people that were not good for me. But myself as a person felt like I had a good heart but I needed to change the way I was living, there was a reason I was being warned and given all of these "wake up calls" I refer them to. I ended up taking my Shahada and giving my life to Allah. I felt like I was ready to start a new life.
I decided I needed to move away.. I had a brother that lived in a town about 2 hrs away. I went to a Masjid in another state and told them everything I was going through and they had found me a place to live in the town where my brother was. I noticed after my accident that things were not the same for me, I was experiencing panic attacks, I was seeing cars in my lane when I was driving at night because of flashbacks from the accident. I had a lot of social anxiety and found myself isolating myself. The Imam from the Masjid would make sure I had food and things to live, would bring me books, prayer rugs, dvd, cd's to start being able to learn more about Islam. Little did I know at that time that he was trying to peruse me for marriage. But we did end up getting married. But it was very difficult. He had 2 other wives in other countries and 10 children. I wondered why he never took me to the masjid where he gave lectures. He would never be seen in public with me. Later on one of his other wives found out about me and was upset and came back to the country to live and I was payed off basically to leave him alone. During this time I applied for SSI. And was finally approved at the end of this last year. I started receiving help after I locked myself in the house for months at a time, I got a social worker and started therapy and finally started getting out again.. I ended up having to have weight loss surgery in June of Last year because of my sleep apnea, high blood pressure and pre-diabetic state. I have now lost 90 pounds Alhamdulillah and my health is much better in that way. I have continued to trust in Allah that he would never give me more than I could handle. And that there was going to be some sort of mental relief from all of the suffering I had sustained. My brother here had 2 twin girls whom are now 5 years old. I do believe that they were a gift to me from Allah because I never had experienced so much joy and happiness than I had since they were born. Although my family are non-muslims and there attitude is basically do it yourself and find a way... I have love and respect for them. Even my father.
The only thing that protected me through all my trials was Allah. I was called by him to change my life and live for him. I am far from perfect, But I am a living testimony that with putting your faith in him, he will see you threw everything and anything. I am not where I want to be as far as educated in Islam. I don't know if I will ever be, But I can say I will never stop trying to learn as much as possible while I am here on this earth.. I continue to have my struggles, but things are looking up for me, and have gotten so much better since I became muslim and started living for Allah. Nothing in this world could ever make me feel that I made any sort of wrong choice in doing so. Even with the bad experiences I had with the Imam, the one I thought would do the right things, but it is proof that no one is perfect here on earth. The only important relationship I learned is the one you have with Allah... He is the only one that can help you when you need him, the only one you can depend on... And the one you should always give your life to.
I do hope that you find my story to be helpful, touching and inspiring in one way or another, and thank you for letting me share my story with you all...